Scottish melodic progressives Preacher are led by the voice of singer, guitarist, songwriter Martin Murphy, the keyboard textures of Arnold Burgoyne and the lead guitar lines of Greg Murphy, whose remarkable self-taught ability belies his young age.
Their collective talents are showcased on Signals, Preacher's atmospheric prog-rock debut that takes its sonic influences from the classic, spacey soundscapes of Pink Floyd, all underpinned by a melodic, blues-tinged rock structure.
Not obvious musical bedfellows, but Preacher makes it work extremely well - the two styles merge into a cohesive, well-crafted and sometimes truly captivating sound, cemented by the band's musicianship and Martin Murphy's songwriting skills (with some arrangements and compositional assistance from Burgoyne).
Most of the songs include perfectly pitched (in both senses of the word) backing vocals from Angela Bell, Kerry McWhinnie and Herborg Hansen, with the album line-up completed by Larry Primrose (bass, drums) and Iain Duncan (drums).
A "someone is watching/ aliens amongst us" commentary forms part of the lyrical package but from the atmospheric, slow-burn opening brace of `Time' and the excellent `Jupiter to Mars' to the closer `I'll Be There,' it's the music that truly makes the statement.
But Martin Murphy, vocally akin to a smooth, gravel-free variant of Joe Cocker with David Bowie styled phrasing and nuances, is a key to the success of Signals. His distinct timbre and lyrics give perfect `voice' to the music.
There's no filler to be found on the album but honourable mentions go to the melodic instrumental space rock of `Arrival,' the punchy and rhythmic `Friends of my Dreams,' which incorporates middle eastern musical cadences and the semi-anthemic `Destiny.'
But perhaps edging them all is the slow building title track. 'Signals' adds a number of mid-tempo layers before some fine lead guitar work from Greg Murphy surfaces over a rock-driven rhythm not too dissimilar to `Würm' by YES.
And for all the quality on Signals some of the songs deserve to travel beyond the confines of a modern progressive rock album and two already have - `Signals' and `Destiny' have been used by a couple of broadcasting companies (including the UK's Channel 5).
Martin Murphy produces some Bowie-esque vocal moments (such as the verses of `I'll Be There') and Preacher clearly and unashamedly incorporate arrangements that recall early to mid 70's Pink Floyd.
But Signals also incorporates a modern rock groove and has a sonic edge that places it in the present, not the past.
And that's a solid musical platform from which to launch your future.
Well well at last a band from Ayrshire with a album with some fantastic songs ,lyrics ,melodies,harmonies and musicians on it, and the big plus here folks is that each track last for more than 2.5 minutes you don't get much of that these days.A very enjoyable album,some of these tracks should be used on film sound tracks the production an arrangement is that good all in all well worth buying on cd or download ,cheers Preacher and thanks ,well worth the wait guys ...
By sheer chance I was sent a fb vid of the track 'signals' by a band from Ayrshire, Scotland called 'Preacher'. I watched, I liked the images used but was bitten by the music track accompanying it. I watched it five times in a row; I could not figure out what caused my infatuation. A second track was released and hit fb equally good, if not better. I had to get more. I downloaded the album and am wonderfully pleased to find that it is pretty much good throughout. This is a jewel among jewels. Often a spontaneous purchase ends up with the key tracks played, but the rest assigned to iTunes limbo. This album contains a series of delights; the musical style flits teasingly across a number of imaginative genres, from science fiction theme tune (aka Hawkwind) to urban comment in the style of Del Amitri. I am still getting used to it and am enjoying the relatively raw, unpolished, real feel that comes across in the various tracks. Singing style is again curiously attractive, much like Bryan Josh from Mostly Autumn. In summary a very good choice, a refreshing change... something needed, something new.
If you are into Bowie, Floyd, Pearl Jam or simply good, solid rock then you have to listen to this album. Let me put it this way - Simon Cowell would not like it (or even understand it)- which gives it 11/10 in my book!!